6 Frugal Gifts Every Traveler Needs


The holidays are one of my favorite times of the year. As a kid, I (of course) used to love getting gifts, but as I have gotten older I have really come to enjoy finding gifts for others that I know they will love. Unfortunately, travelers can be some of the toughest people to shop for. It always seems like there’s not much we need and even less that we have room to carry. Nonetheless, there are a few travel essentials that are great for any traveler in your life. Here’s my 2016 holiday gift guide.

1. Light-Weight Fold Up Travel Backpack (~$15+)

Seriously, who knows if you’re going to do any shopping on that upcoming trip and need more room in your pack when it’s time to come home. Any kind of light-weight fold up travel backpack won’t take up much room or add more weight to your bag, but will give you a good amount of extra space for a low price. Even if you’re not much of a shopper, these backpacks make great day bags and hiking bags in case you don’t want to carry the full size alternative.

2. Quick Dry Towel ($13+)

I never EVER travel without a quick dry towel. These come in handy at hostels, at the beach, for sitting and reading in the sun, as blankets on a cold train or plane, and for SO MUCH MORE. If you get your towel wet, it will dry overnight and be ready to packed away in the morning without stinking up your bag. They’re also super small and lightweight so when you don’t need it you won’t even notice it’s in your bag.

3. Truffle Salt ($12+)

Some destinations are great for the food, others aren’t. Even if you’re flying business or first class to get there, there’s a good chance that you’re food could use a little bit of extra flavor. Truffle salt is a lil’ somethin’ that you can carry with you everywhere you go without much effort that will put a little extra (yummy!) flavor on your taste buds with every bit. Sometimes I almost feel bad ‘wasting’ my truffle salt on mediocre food, but it really does take it up a notch!

4. The New Atlas Obscura Book (~$18 Print Edition)

This is something I didn’t even know existed until my friend gave it to me as a birthday gift, and let me tell you… WOW! Look no further for bold travel inspiration! I’ve followed Atlas Obscura’s site for a few months now, but the book takes it to a whole new level. Maybe that’s because I’ve always loved to have a book in my hand, but I have seriously not been able to get enough of flipping through this book and planning more (and more) [AND MORE] future travels.

5. Some Extra Light ($8+)

You never know when you’re going to need a little extra light. You might be out late hiking or stargazing or visiting some gorgeous hotsprings in Iceland or maybe even a surprise power outage! A headlight is something that again, doesn’t take up much space and isn’t heavy (sensing the theme here yet?!) and also doesn’t cost much at all. You never know when it will come in handy.

6. Travel Silverware ($14+)

If the traveler in your life loves eating street food (like I do!), they probably know that it’s just as easy to get sick from unclean cutlery as it is from the food itself. It’s not possible to take all of the possibly contaminated food out of the equation, but you can at least travel with your own spoon, fork, knife, and chopsticks. Better to go with the metal versions than wood or bamboo since they are easier to clean and more durable than plastic! Granted, if you are not planning on checking a bag, it might be better to go with the plastic version. You *shouldn’t* have trouble with the metal versions but I’ve had plenty of stuff taken away when traveling internationally that shouldn’t have been a problem.

Christmas can be a tough time to shop for those who seem like they don’t need much in their lives, but if they love to travel – above are six easy and inexpensive things that might make their lives easier!


What do you give as gifts for the travelers in your life?

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